Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Sharp Ears of Peter Ostroushko

by Doug MacRostie

Ostroushko is actually two Ukrainian words put together: Ostro and Ushko which mean Sharp and Ear, and as one of the most accomplished instrumentalists and gifted composers of his generation, it's no surprise that Peter Ostroushko is from the Sharp Ear family of Ukraine. I'll be talking with him this week on Centerstage MN about his long and productive music career that started in NE Minneapolis and what made him into the songwriter he is today. A multi-instrumentalist who began his professional career in high school, he concentrates on fiddle and mandolin and his first recording session was on Bob Dylan’s “Blood on the Tracks.” Since 1985 he has released 16 albums and has worked with the likes of Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Taj Mahal, Greg Brown and many others. It's going to be a real treat talking to him.

We'll also travel back in time and hear the story of a song. John Berquist of Eveleth has been telling stories and performing traditional music of Scandanavian-Americans for almost 40 years, and he tells us about a song that came right out of the grain harvest season long ago in Northwestern MN and North Dakota. As one of the Minnesota's most respected folklorists, John presents concerts and programs that bring to life the heritage and lore of the Upper Midwest.

Plus, KAXE Intern Tim Krueth (A.K.A. Timtern) reviews Us, the latest release from Minneapolis hip-hop artist Brother Ali. describes Us as, "A profound personal glimpse into a vulnerability seldom seen or heard in music, Us touches on the strengths and flaws of the human condition, exploring drug abuse, divorce, homophobia and many more topics that most people are scared to touch in their own lives, much less on an album for the world to see."

Centerstage MN is Thursday evenings at 6, streaming live online at; or 91.7 Grand Rapids, 89.9 Brainerd and 105.3 Bemidji. All interviews are archived at and the show is rebroadcast Sunday mornings at 6.

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